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Episode reviews for Episode 10.18 - Roe To Perdition

Avg. Viewer Review: 91.0%
Number of Reviews: 8

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The Russian Bear hunts by night, May 26, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia


"Roe to Perdition" is my favourite episode of season 10 and indeed probably my favourite episode in several seasons. It takes on the concerns of an earlier season 10 episode, "Door Jam", in the ways the brothers' ambition and many similarities lead them down a dark path. (It's funny still to think that - like "Seinfeld" - the network was worried during pre-production of the series that two similar main characters would be uninteresting. Instead, the brothers' similarities have consistently been a source of humour.)

This episode does, depressingly, remind us that the boys have learned almost nothing from their experiences over the years. The promise of social climbing is enough to get them into the black market caviar business, and the ways in which they are initially seduced both by the Hardy Boys' style knowledge of the Russian mafia, the desire to outwit uncompetitive pricing, and their own belief in the finer things in life... it all adds up so well. As Frasier says, "Welcome to caviar". It's a simple but effective plot ending in the very funny sequence of the boys becoming unlikely profiteers and then being caught with caviar all over themselves. The addition of Roz's addiction is an inspired piece of humour. It's deliberately farcical, and those who disliked the unabashedly silly spelling-equals-boxing idea of "War of the Words" will probably dislike it. I can't, however. Peri Gilpin has such fun reducing Roz to a caviar tweaker. Just perfect.

Meanwhile, the Martin/Daphne/ATM storyline isn't quite in the same comic stratosphere but the simple way that bureaucracy turns against Martin is effective, largely because of how John Mahoney plays Martin's increasing annoyance at the prospect. Daphne's "could I open an account" is the perfect button for this sequence. Jane Leeves' real highlight, though, is her ridiculous story about Nigel, and how he lost his teeth "in a rock eating contest". As with "Daphne Does Dinner", the script deliberately goes to the well of self-parody, as the boys compete to see who can ask the fewest questions during a Moon family chronicle. (Frasier, of course, is the clear winner.) Solid proof of the series' vitality after ten years.


Rating: 97%

 

A return to form , Aug 11, 2010

Reviewer: Burlington Tiger 2 from East Yorkshire coast, England


I watched this for the first time this morning. It is 'classic' frasier and a breath of fresh air for these latter episodes. Firstly, any episode that doesn't involve Gertrude or Simon gets a big thumbs up from me. Secondly, it wasn't one of the 'dating episodes' (Frasier suffers from his neuroses; there is some sort of misunderstanding resulting in mild farce). Instead, it was Frasier and Niles at their best - trying desperately to buy their way up the social ladder. Roz' sudden addiction to caviar was a trifle overdone but quite funny. The whole business with Martin and the constant errors on the part of his bank was also funny but I do recall a similar storyline with Phoebe on 'Friends'. To be fair, I don't know which aired first.


Rating: 88%

 

It's like being kissed by a lusty mermaid!, Jul 15, 2009

Reviewer: Nichole from Seattle, WA USA


This episode starts off hilarious. Niles having to get the shopping cart for Frasier because he claims they make him feel like "some sort of fairytale giant." In this episode, caviar is portrayed as a drug and Niles and Frasier the dealers. Roz becoming addicted talking about how she counts down the hours at work til she gets caviar and biting her lip nervously fidgeting and asking the brothers, "You don't have any on ya do you?" Also when they catch her lurking around Robeir's Gourmet Goodies and breaks down and blames Frasier for her addiction by introducing her to it. Also all the orders they're filling for their rich friends has the phone ringing off the hook with people asking martin to place orders for them. After Petr makes his last delivery, Frasier and Niles panic from the shortage and construct a plan to buy from the market and "cut it with the good stuff," in order to keep their clients happy, only they're not making money, they're just getting into desired social events.
Martin and Daphne are also on their own hilarious mission to return $40 to the bank who's ATM malfunctioned giving martin $60 but only took $20 out of his account. On Martin's first trip to the bank to try and return the money, his car get's towed, so on the second trip after the bank wired $40 more to his account, as he's in the teller line he tells Daphne, who came in to tell him there's no parking, "look, this will only take a minute, pull the car around to the front. Now you better hurry up and get back to the car before Eddie starts to panic." Which to the security guard overhearing it sounded like a robbery plan and caused martin to be held up at gunpoint by the guard.
This episode is so clever and one of my favorites. It goes to show the perfect perspective of the type of dealers they would make. Dealing for popularity and not money.


Rating: 99%

 

Top Quality Stuff!, Feb 09, 2009

Reviewer: David Sim from Skelmersdale, Lancashire


When Christopher Lloyd and Joe Keenan left Frasier at the end of Season 7, it somehow had a domino effect on the entire show. It suddenly emerged having lost all purpose. Episodes weren't funny anymore. And the cast had lost all enthusiasm. Seasons 8 & 9 were a barren wasteland from which it seemed the show would never recover from.

But then into Season 10, Frasier began to get back some of its sparkle. I wouldn't call it a classic season. It does have a few awful ones. And the show wouldn't completely get its act together again until Season 11. But you can see the beginnings of it in Season 10.

And Roe to Perdition is an example. This is a fine episode of Frasier. One of the most enjoyable in ages. A real treat. Frasier & Niles get into the caviar business. Its unusual that after ten years, what with Frasier & Niles' preference for fine dining and impeccable tastes, that its only occurred to the producers now to do an episode about caviar. That's not a criticism. Just an observation. But it was worth the wait.

I didn't think much of Roe to Perdition when I first saw it. But when watched a second time, it seemed far more enjoyable. And that's down to scriptwriter Jon Sherman.

Many Frasier fans agree that Jon Sherman is the most talented writer at present. He's written many fine episodes since joining the staff three years earlier. And Roe to Perdition is one of his best. He's put a really excellent script at the cast's disposal. Something they know all too well. Which is why their performances here are so superb. Slickly directed by Jerry Zaks, this episode never hits a false note.

Right from the first scene, you know this is a good one. The script is sharp. The plot is involving. And best of all. Its about Frasier & Niles. I always enjoy their misadventures. Something that's become a bit scarce since Niles got hitched to Daphne. And this is a really funny one.

Frasier & Niles are stockpiling gourmet cuisine for a dinner party. But the caviar on sale is shockingly overpriced. A Russian customer, Petyr blames it on the Russian Mafia. But he'll let Frasier and Niles have some quality caviar for $40 an ounce. That one scene alone is full of great little gems. The tiny shopping trolley. The shady Petyr. It even finds time for a cameo from Robert, the snooty store owner from Season 5's The Perfect Guy. I love his reasons for why his caviar is so expensive:

"To you it may seem expensive. To the fish who gave up her life to let you spread her unborn children on a cracker its not so much."

Thanks to the caviar, their dinner party is a great success! Even Frasier is surprised by that ("something's usually on fire by now!"). And the guest thinks he's joking! Their high quality caviar has raised Frasier and Niles' standing in Seattle's social circle. Something that comes to an end when Petyr cuts off their supply.

One thing I really like about Roe to Perdition is the way Jon Sherman gives everyone plenty to do. Roz doesn't get left out for once, and she's actually given some good material for a change. She's become hooked on caviar. She's practically a junkie! And when there's no more to buy, she becomes unhinged. Peri Gilpin can be so funny. If only she were given more opportunities. Thanks Jon Sherman for giving her that chance.

Frasier & Niles have no choice but to go straight to the source. The Caspian Queen. Where Petyr got the caviar. They get some. Until US Customs arrive on the scene. The sight of Frasier and Niles frantically eating the caviar is a superb finish to a gem of an episode.

There's even a good subplot. Martin gets too much money credited into his account. But he has to return it through a maze of red tape, auto diallers and incompetent bankers. He winds up with 10'000 dollars when a bank security guard pulls a gun on him. As well as the initial 40 dollars!

Both plots run side by side and never get boring. They even occasionally flow into one another. Like when Martin sarcastically tells a customer out for caviar he'll transfer them to the right department! Who hasn't felt like saying that to someone over the phone?

Roe to Perdition is a near classic. Its hugely enjoyable, very funny and quite addictive too. It may not do it as often, but Roe to Perdition is proof that Frasier can still deliver the goods.


Rating: 90%

 

One Of The Best From 10, Jan 01, 2008

Reviewer: Dean Mather from UNITED KINGDOM


Season 10 does deliver some very good episodes,Roe To Perdition is one of them, alongside Devil and Dr Phil,Tales From The Crypt and some of Door Jam, the brothers Crane become dealers in caviar,with obvious and amusing results. The only cog in the wheel is Daphne and her moaning at Martin to give back money to the bank which they have dished out by accident,though it turns good for him in the end. Roz becomes addicted to the caviar and Frasier and Niles run out of supplies leading to a meeting on a russian ship,enjoyable.


Rating: 88%

 

Roe to Perdition, Nov 24, 2006

Reviewer: nancy from Smithville, MO USA


This is the typical Frasier episodes I love. When the brothers try so hard to be upper social class. They wreck things over and over again. When everyone acts as thought it is a drug...hilarious! I miss the show.


Rating: 100%

 

ROE TO PERDITION, Dec 09, 2005

Reviewer: Cake for Brains from Manchester, UK


Although Season 10 has served as a vast improvement over Season 9, and an even greater improvement over the murky depths of the dreadful Season 8, it has still fallen far short of capturing the brilliance maintained by the first seven seasons of Frasier. Classic episodes have become scarce and infrequent, and so therefore it was a rare treat when I watched ‘Roe to Perdition’ because in my opinion it has been the best episode since the Season 7 finale, Something Borrowed, Someone Blue. After ploughing through over sixty episodes in the Frasier flower bed and turning up only weeds, you can only imagine my joy to discover a rose in full bloom; for this episode is quite simply hilarious through and through. There were some many lovely moments, both plots worked wonderfully, the performances were consistent and stellar, and writer Jon Shermon has definitely coined a script to be very proud of.

I could tell straight away that this episode represented a new level in quality (when judged in comparison to the material transmitted during Seasons 8-10 inclusive) because the introductory scene was hilarious, and the audience was plunged straight into the story. The episode begins in a compact food store, and Frasier is reluctant to be seen pushing a trolley/cart around because they are so minute they make him feel like ‘fairytale giant’. I’ve said it before in my reviews but I feel that now Niles and Daphne are married, that scenes between Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce have become rare, so it was great to see them together, and the fact that their storyline worked so well, and that they interacted so brilliantly together only confirms as evidence that the fact that Niles and Frasier are the heart of the show and that the lack of focus on their relationship recently has been a factor in the show’s decline in quality. Their renowned squabbling is great here, especially when they bicker over what to serve, only for Niles to retort after Frasier insists people like his cookery – ‘Some people like animated musicals!’. They soon become interested in some high-priced $100 caviar and I loved the quip from the store manager when Niles inquires if the food is mispriced because it seems so expensive; ‘To you yes, but not to the fish that gave up her life so you could spread her unborn children on a cracker!’. The siblings are then approached by a leather-jacket clad Russian named Petyr, who blames the high priced caviar on the mafia and helps the brothers get a great amount for a cheaper price of $40; and soon they are addicted to it, because Niles thinks it tastes like ‘being kissed by a lusty mermaid!’. I also loved Petyr’s explanation of how his caviar selling isn’t a scam!

Niles and Frasier have always had bad luck in the dinner party department, but their foray into catering (now with ‘caviar connections’) proves an unexpected success, just like my enjoyment of the episode. Peri Gilpin, who hasn’t had much to do this season unfortunately, is great here as Roz are she becomes deranged due to her obsession/addiction to the caviar, and this sprouts several funny scenes. Niles and Frasier manage to expand their social status too, as everybody in Seattle is in demand of the special caviar. A great moment is when Niles explains that in exchange for caviar, a dinner guest could arrange to move Frasier and Niles’ squash lockers further away from the showers! Of the course their success and popularity doesn’t last, and soon the caviar supply is cut, which leads Niles and Frasier to go to the source and try to get some from some mobsters. The scene at the end was hysterical, when Niles and Frasier shovel the caviar into the mouths by the handful because the US imports arrive on the scene.

Even the subplot with Martin was really funny; and John Mahoney was excellent in this episode. It transpires that the bank have given him too much money (an extra $40) and Daphne nags him to take it back and explain the mistake because it will help him achieve ‘karma’. It got funnier every time Martin tried to return the money, only to be given more and more; eventually being compensated $10,000 because a bank security guard turned a weapon on him. Martin’s growing frustration was great, and it worked really well and kept me laughing throughout. Jane Leeves didn’t have much to do as Daphne, but I’m afraid to say that’s no bad thing. Daphne’s character has changed too much over the past two years, and if I’m honest I wouldn’t have minded if she had left the show at the end of Season 7, because her imput doesn’t amount to anything much. I think the fact that she had so little to contribute to this largely hilarious episode speaks volume about the necessity of her character. In conclusion then, this episode is a triumphant spectrum of great comedy, great performances and a cracking script – what more do you need? Well done to Jon Shermon for reminding me why I love Frasier so much. The best episode in over two years. Terffic stuff.


Rating: 85%

 

'Roe To Perdition' review, Oct 15, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK


A consistently amusing episode which features two plots, both of which are highly entertaining. The main storyline with Frasier and Niles' quest for caviar sees the welcome return of delicatessen owner Robert from Season 5's 'The Perfect Guy'. It's a shame Francois Giroday didn't make more than two appearances in the show as his haughty manner always makes me laugh. As with Martin and Daphne's behaviour in the earlier episode, Robert once again finds himself having to deal with complaints about his high prices - this time from Frasier and Niles who want to purchase some caviar for another dinner party, which results in them buying some less expensive (but very high quality) caviar from the shady Petyr, who has links with the Russian mafia. An enjoyable storyline follows that sees Frasier and Niles offering caviar to people in exchange for several gifts. It's nice to see Roz getting more to do than usual, even if her caviar-addiction is perhaps the episode's weak point, seeming just a touch overplayed. The other storyline involving Martin's battle with bureaucracy when he attempts to return some money to the bank is good fun too - I loved his feigning reluctance at accepting the bank's huge payout following their having drawn a firearm at him. The closing scene with the Crane brothers boarding the boat only to panic when they here the police approach is hilarious, with Niles' pathetic attempt to eat the evidence with a tiny spoon followed by he and Frasier stuffing their faces with caviar rounding off a well-paced and funny episode.


Rating: 81%